A city councilwoman won a seat on the county Board of Supervisors in a special election ordered to undo systematic discrimination against 3 million Hispanics.
The election Tuesday of Gloria Molina to the five-member, previously all-white board gives the 42-year-old liberal Democrat one of the most visible Hispanic leadership positions in the country."This is not my victory, it's our victory," Molina told supporters. "I'm bringing in a whole new group of people that have been excluded from county government."
Molina beat her political mentor, state Sen. Art Torres, 44, in a runoff election. The former state assemblywoman, who won 55 percent of the vote to Torres' 44 percent, will be sworn in March 8 to a four-year term.
With all 371 precints reporting, Molina had 45,805 votes to Torres' 36,939 votes in an election that saw less than one in four voters cast ballots in the predominantly Hispanic 1st District in East Los Angeles.
ruled in June that supervisors drew district lines to dilute Hispanic voting strength and thereby preserve their incumbencies, systematically discriminating against the county's nearly 3 million Hispanics.
A seat on the Board of Supervisors in the nation's most populous county comes with nearly 2 million constituents and a swing vote on a $9 billion budget, larger than that of most states.